New York City 12-year-old honored by Marvel for helping people with Alzheimer's

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Thursday, November 28, 2019
Marvel Hero Project honors NYC girl who helps people with Alzheimer's
Tim Fleischer has the story of a girl who was honored as part of the Marvel Hero Project.

NEW YORK -- A New York City girl launched an initiative to help people with Alzheimer's disease, and now her good deed is getting the attention of Marvel.

12-year-old Hailey Richman is being honored with her own Marvel comic book. It proclaims that she puts all the pieces together.

"It's just so amazing that I can actually see my work and me come to life," said Hailey.

She is featured in Marvel Entertainment's Hero Project, a non-scripted reality series streaming on Disney+.

Hailey is being honored as one of 20 kids across the country for remarkable things they accomplished to help their community. At the end of each episode, they are given their very own comic book.

"My grandparents have had comic books and now I have a comic book," Hailey said. "So you can kind of connect through that."

It was with her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, that she realized the important benefits of jigsaw puzzles in helping to keep the mind active and a little sharper.

She then teamed up with 'Puzzles to Remember' and started a couple of years ago to donate puzzles to caregiving facilities - 100,000 of them and counting.

"It helps them," she said. "It brings back short term memory loss. It stimulates the visual cortex and it brings them just joy because they are so happy seeing kids and solving puzzles. What could be better?"

Marvel then featured her in an episode that begins streaming November 29.

"I recently got to meet up with some of the kids there," said Hailey. "It was so awesome to talk to them and relate to them."

Hailey has also launched Kid Caregivers, a resource for young people just like her, helping loved ones with Alzheimer's, and 'Puzzle Time', an international program connecting Alzheimer's patients and young volunteers.

"We took something that might not have been the best and we've turned it into something," she said.

Hailey and her mother bounce ideas off each other as Hailey works on her blog site. She is already thinking about her next accomplishment.

"I want to make my organization bigger," she said. "Maybe I want to have meet-and-greets where we can all talk together, a group of children who are dealing with the same thing and we can give each other advice in person."

Click here to learn more about Disney+.


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